Embracing the Discomfort – Emily Eldridge

One of the first things we talked about way back at the start of this program (a whole 5 months ago, which sometimes feels like a lot longer) was embracing vulnerability, and the discomfort that comes with it. In case you couldn’t tell by now I’m the type of person who haaaates vulnerability and feeling uncomfortable. Back in August, we were talking about Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, which I read admittedly in kind of a rush, but which I filled with highlights because I identified so strongly with her words about the discomfort of vulnerability.

In one of Kirsten’s and my early sessions with our group therapist we practiced sitting in silence and focusing on the awkwardness we felt. I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who tries to avoid and ignore awkwardness as much as possible, and sitting in silence with other people almost always feels uncomfortable. But the point of the exercise was to notice how it felt, keep going, and see how the discomfort lessened.

A couple of weeks ago when I was thinking about what to write for this blog, I expected to write a little about this being about the halfway point of the program. I had a vague idea of summarizing some of my favorite moments and talking about how I finally felt settled in and comfortable. However, things have gotten pretty uncomfortable again since then. A lot of the routines I’ve built up are changing, and the future is a little hazier than I would like.

I had to push through the discomfort just to go on last weekend’s retreat, which in all honesty, I was wishing I could skip. I knew there would be expectations of vulnerability and I was not feeling like opening up to a dozen new strangers on top of the anxiety I was already feeling. But as it turned out, braving that discomfort was a good thing for me. Remember I wrote about hating talking to new people? I talked to a bunch (by my definition anyway) of new people over the weekend and it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. I ended up being glad that I went on the retreat.

So my life does not feel as stable as I would like right now, and there’s a fair amount of anxiety and awkwardness to deal with. I just have to remember that there’s something better on the other side of the discomfort.


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